Wife-killer's appeal grounds limited

Malcolm Webster and Felicity Drumm on their wedding day in Auckland, 1997. Photo / Supplied
Malcolm Webster and Felicity Drumm on their wedding day in Auckland, 1997. Photo / Supplied

A British man convicted of murdering his Scottish first wife and attempting to kill his New Zealand-born second wife has lost a bid to widen the scope of his appeal.

Malcolm Webster was sentenced in the High Court at Edinburgh in July to life in prison, with a 30-year non-parole period, for murdering Claire Morris in England in 1994 and attempting to murder New Zealander Felicity Drumm in Auckland five years later.

Ms Morris died after Webster drugged her and staged a car crash. He claimed more than $400,000 from her life insurance policy.

Ms Drumm, who was insured for more than $1.5 million, was pregnant when he drugged her and staged a car crash. She lived, and Webster fled with $140,000 from her bank account.

The Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh has granted Webster leave to appeal his conviction on five grounds, the BBC reported.

But the court has denied lawyer Chris Shead's bid for leave to appeal on a further three grounds.

It also denied Mr Shead's bid to have transcripts of speeches and expert evidence heard at the trial included in the appeal.

Among Webster's grounds for appeal are a decision to allow a witness to testify after the trial was started, and a challenge to the way the prosecutor asked the jury to consider the evidence, the BBC said.

- APNZ

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